A DERELICT Charford playground is becoming a hive for vandalism, anti-social behaviour and drug use, claim concerned residents.

The Tibberton Road playground, off Austin Road, has been closed and locked for two years but a broken fence is allowing hoodlums access.

Councillor Michael Thompson said needles had been found near the playground and people had been spotted smoking illegal substances nearby.

Bromsgrove District Housing Trust (bdht), which owns the facility, have pledged to repair the fence and put a plan in place for the play area's future.

Many of the features of the playground have been broken by vandals who access the playground in the late hours.

Resident Jennie Peplow said: "Something needs to be done to keep those out who vandalise it.

"It has been left for so long that, looking in, there is nothing worth playing on.

"Families with young children have not had the opportunity to use it and some older children who could have used it are now getting too old.

"It should not be left as a place for people to drink and take drugs - and for yobs to play around in in the evening, keeping people awake."

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Cllr Thompson added: "A lot of what I have focused on since becoming a councillor in Charford is to reduce anti-social behaviour and to provide good places for young families to go.

"Here we have a neglected playground, with young families robbed of a facility; it has become a honey pot for drug taking and anti-social behaviour.

"And it is an absolute disgrace that this has been left for two years.

"I want commitments and dates and I say this to BDHT - make the playground safe and secure and I will, as councillor, with the district council, support you in keeping it the facility it should be."

In response, Graeme Anderson, director of housing and communities at bdht, said: “We have already been liaising with Michael Thompson about this play area and we have made a commitment to have a plan in place by the end of November, which we have communicated to him and we will honour.

“While we haven’t received any reports of anti-social behaviour or drug use at this site, we have arranged to repair the fence this week to prevent people from gaining access.”